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How to File an Assumed Name (DBA) in Montana [2022]

Overview

How to File an Assumed Name (DBA) in Montana

In Montana, any business operating under a fictitious name will need to register for an Assumed Name.  Learn more about what an Assumed Name is, who needs one, and how to register.

Related: How to start a business in Montana

What is an Assumed Name?

An Assumed Name, also known as a “DBA,” “Doing Business As,” “Trade Name,” or “Fictitious Business Name,” is a name used by a business that is different from the legal name of the business.  This name is often referred to as an Assumed Name in Montana.

When a business wants to operate under a name other than its legal name, the state of Montana, like most states, requires the business to register its business name.  The registration requirement was designed to protect consumers from business owners hiding anonymously behind the name of a business.

What is an Assumed Name good for?

An Assumed Name is required for Nebraska businesses that want to operate under a name that is different from the legal name of the owners or entity. The Assumed Name registration provides information on the people operating a business, so if there is an issue, the owners of a business can be tracked down.  

In addition to the legal requirement, an Assumed Name offers other benefits such as proving the existence of a business, opening a business bank account, registering a merchant account to accept credit cards, and others.

Who needs to register for a Montana Assumed Name?

The requirements and need for a business name registration vary depending on the type of business entity.

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are the most common entities to register for an Assumed Name.

The legal name of a sole proprietor or partnership can be the owner’s full first and last name, which can be used without registering in Montana.  For example, if John Smith starts a business repairing computers but doesn’t use a business name, he doesn’t have to register.  If John decides to name his business John’s Computer Repair, he will need to register.

Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Limited Liability Partnerships, and Limited Partnerships won’t typically register a fictitious name since a unique entity name is created during the formation process.  Some will file for a Montana DBA if they have another business or brand name they want to operate under their corporate/LLC/LLP/LP umbrella to keep the liability protection without forming another entity.

How much does an Assumed Name cost in Montana?

The filing fee for registering an Assumed Name in Montana is $20.

Expedited processing is available.  For an additional $20, the registration is processed in 24 hours, while an additional $100 will provide 1-hour processing.

Renewal of assumed names is every five years from the filing date.

What are the steps to file a DBA in Montana?

Step 1: Verify Name Availability

The state of Montana requires business names to be distinguishable from other registered business names. The Secretary of State has an online database that can be checked.

Learn how to do a business name search in Montana.

Step 2: Fill out the Assumed Name Registration Form

The Registration of an Assumed Business Name is available as a Printable Form or can be submitted Online through the Montana Secretary of State’s ePass website.

Information requested on the form includes:
– Proposed Assumed Name being registered
– Description of what the business does
– Date the name was first used
– Type of business entity
– Mailing address and phone number

Step 3: Submit the Form

Submit the filing fee and form. 

If mailing, send the form to:
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 202801
Helena, MT 59620-2801

If you have questions about the process, contact the Montana Secretary of State’s office at 406-444-3665.

If you would prefer to have a someone else research DBA name availability and file the required forms, Swyft Filings, MyCompanyWorks, and LegalZoom offer a DBA registration service for $99, plus state fees.

Are there any naming restrictions when filing a Nebraska DBA?

An Assumed Name can’t be registered using similar words related to financial institutions (such as bank, banker, credit union, savings and loans, etc.) unless it is licensed to provide such services. 

Additionally, an Assumed Name can only use the business entity suffix (such as corporation, LLC, LLP, LP, etc.) if the business is organized as that entity.  For example, a sole proprietorship can’t use LLC in its Assumed Name.

Can someone use my business name after registering a Nebraska DBA?

While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in Montana, it does very little to stop someone else from operating a business under that name in other states.

If stopping others from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a trademark.

Learn more about trademarking a business name.

Does an Assumed Name need an EIN?

An EIN or Employer Identification Number (sometimes referred to as a business tax ID number) is a unique nine-digit number that some businesses will register for through the Internal Revenue Department (IRS). An EIN is required for partnerships, corporations, multi-member LLCs, or any business that has employees.

Sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs without employees can use the owner’s social security number to identify the business.

There is no cost to get an EIN when registering directly from the IRS.

Related: How to register for an EIN in Montana

Does Nebraska require a business license?

The Assumed Name registration isn’t a business license, so there may be additional requirements you have to complete before starting your business.

Most businesses will need some sort of license, but every business will have different requirements. Check out what business licenses and permits are needed in Nebraska.

Does Nebraska require a DBA?

Any Nebraska sole proprietorship or partnership that wants to do business under a name that is different from the owner’s full name or a Nebraska corporation or LLC that wants to operate under a name that is different from the legal name of the entity is required to register the name.

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